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San Diego Getaway

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Last month we took a short trip to San Diego and it ended up being a super relaxed and enjoyable visit. I hadn't been to San Diego since I was about seven years old when I visited my great-grandmother, and I had been wanting to go back. With an unusually cold April here in Wichita, we were excited for some warmer temps and time on the beach. Turns out we visited during a cool period for San Diego as well and needed our hoodies and jackets, but the sunshine was still radiant and we enjoyed plenty of beautiful ocean views.

Here were a few of our favorite things -

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

One of Mike's favorite IPAs is made by Stone Brewing, so I knew I wanted to make a stop at the brewery while we were in town. The brewery has multiple locations throughout the city, but we decided to have lunch at the brewery at Liberty Station. The location was perfect as it sits right next to the airport. Once we landed and got our rental car, we headed to the brewery for lunch.

I feel like all breweries have really good food, and this place was no exception. Their food was amazing. (See more later on) Mike really enjoyed beer tasting and ordered a flight of IPAs that he wouldn't be able to find in Kansas.

The huge patio and gardens have to be mentioned as well - they were gorgeous. Large koi ponds, beautiful flowers and a bright, sunny patio made the dining experience even more enjoyable.

Yes, that really was my beer. 

La Jolla

We stayed twenty minutes north of San Diego in La Jolla, which was so beautiful. I remember staying there as a kid and loving the beaches, sea lions, and neat downtown area. We stayed at La Jolla Shores Hotel located right on the beach, which was great for walking the shore in the morning and evening. Just a mile south of our hotel was downtown La Jolla which is so beautiful and fun for window shopping, strolling the sidewalks and finding a great place for dinner and drinks. We spent every evening downtown.

Checking out La Jolla Cove 

Exactly how I feel after too much Chipotle

Beautiful beaches 

Walking the beach in the morning

Mike's secret admirer

San Diego Zoo

Our first morning in San Diego we headed to the Zoo, because when you're in San Diego that's got to be on your list, right? You could really spend a full day at the Zoo - especially if you are pushing a stroller, or wandering around with little kids, as we saw many parents doing. Mike and I strategically planned out our path around the Zoo and did it in a full morning. My legs were tired and I was ready for lunch by the end of the morning though.

The San Diego Zoo was huge and very impressive, but it also made me realize what an incredible Zoo we have here in Wichita. Our elephant habitat is hard to beat. We loved seeing the polar bears and catching the panda lunch just in time.

Hotel del Coronado 

I really wanted to see Hotel del Coronado while we were in San Diego - much more than Mike who I believe had never even heard of it but he didn't grow up idolizing old movie stars like I did. The Del is just as beautiful as it looks in the famous Marilyn Monroe photos, old movies and postcards. It did surprise me just how huge the place is though - and all constructed of wood! I can't imagine the upkeep to keep the hotel in such grand condition. The hotel was built in 1888 and was the first beachfront resort on the West coast. We walked around the grounds, through the lobby and into the gift shops before heading off to lunch.

Coronado Island was so beautiful. I wish we would have spent more time on the island. Orange Avenue, the main drag, is filled with all sorts of unique boutiques and swanky shops. We walked through some of the neighborhoods and I loved looking at all the quaint little beach cottages (probably with a huge price tag!) with darling patios and window boxes literally dripping with colorful flowers.

Bottomless Pina Coladas

Let's take a moment to talk about how many Pina Coladas I consumed on this trip. So many tasty ones! Unlike restaurants in Wichita, so many restaurants had frozen nonalcoholic drink options, which made me so happy!

It was nice to have a break from ice water, and Pina Coladas are one drink that taste just as delicious without alcohol. It put me in vacation mode and felt festive to have a drink at dinner.

Cue DJ Khaled..."Another one!"

My favorite one was a lavender Pina Colada from Duke's La Jolla. I know the combination doesn't sound like it would work - but it was SO good.

Duke's Lavender Pina Colada was heavenly!

So much good food...

One thing that stood out to me on this trip was how amazing the food was - maybe it was because I was finally crawling out of the deep, dark hole known as morning sickness, but we ate really well on this trip. So many delicious dishes and fresh seafood. I didn't have one bad, or even so-so meal. Here's what we loved -
  • Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - We ordered the Smokey Brisket Sandwich (our waitress recommended we add avocado - we did), and the Balsamic-Fig Jam Grilled Cheese (she recommended adding pork belly - we did) and both sandwiches were so tasty. Mike did a flight of their IPAs he can't get in Kansas and I enjoyed their nonalcoholic brew.
  • Duke's La Jolla - Obviously the Lavender Pina Coladas! We also loved the fish tacos and the fish sandwich. Sit outside in the barefoot bar area for the most beautiful ocean views. 
  • The Crab Catcher - We really splurged here, and had a "when in Rome" attitude. After perusing the menu we said, "What the heck!" and ordered the giant seafood platter for two that the waiter recommended. Definitely not something we can order in Kansas. We enjoyed a huge platter of shrimp, lobster and ginormous crab legs - all delicious. By the end of the meal our bellies were full, our hands were slippery with butter, and I had a new appreciation for how easy it is to eat a steak. 
  • The Waterfront Bar & Grill - We were in the mood for splitting appetizers for lunch and we loved our nachos and fish and chips. The batter for the fish and chips had cinnamon in it - unexpected flavor but it worked so well! This is the oldest bar in San Diego and is full of character! 
  • Shore Rider Bar - Go here for instant laidback surfer vibes! Mike had an incredible fish sandwich. I ordered a chicken and avocado salad (not my first choice but I started to wonder about the amount of seafood I was consuming on this trip while pregnant...). It was still really good - and spicy! My only regret was not being able to order their amazing looking Froses, frozen rose drinks. I saw some people actually pour a little champagne on top of theirs. Sigh. 
San Diego was a great getaway - and I'd love to go back! Especially when I can add some rum to those Pina Coladas....

Have a great holiday weekend!

This Spring's Favorite Flicks and Book Picks

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
 Between unusually cold weather and pretty intense bouts of nausea, I didn't spend as much time outside in the evenings this spring. The evenings were cold - dipping down into the 20s through the middle of April and my morning sickness was at its worst in the evenings. So, my usual 90 mph pace of getting things done in the evenings slowed down significantly. The positive of that is I read some entertaining books and Mike and I watched a ton of movies this spring. We knocked out quite a few Oscar nominated films like The Darkest Hour, I, Tonya, and The Shape of Water, which was fun. (The Shape of Water was a wild ride.) 

I love nonfiction - I really enjoy true stories, memoirs, and learning about people's lives. Natural Disaster by Ginger Zee was really entertaining. I've always liked watching Ginger on Good Morning America, but her book is truly a deep dive into the real Ginger Zee. I learned so much about her life, and came away from the book respecting and liking Ginger so much more. She details her struggles with depression and mental illness - all while being amazingly successful at a young age. I loved how real she was about her struggles - yet I was also inspired by her drive and perseverance in her professional career.

Sourdough by Robin Sloane was pure fun. The story follows Lois, a software engineer in San Francisco, who hates her tedious, bland job in the tech world, and discovers she has a talent for baking sourdough bread thanks to an inherited, somewhat magic, starter.  Completely different from anything else I've read lately and really entertaining!

Like I mentioned before, we watched a record number of movies this spring. Redbox knew us well. I, Tonya had piqued my interest since I saw the commercials this past winter. It was really entertaining - Allison Janney made a frighteningly perfect mom. Not sure exactly how accurate the film is to the whole story (obviously) but it sure had me hooked. Lots of dry humor - which I greatly appreciate.

Coco was a beautiful film with gorgeous colors and animations, and a really sweet story. It reminded me so much of my Nana who loved the Mexican culture and traditions so much. She bought me a book about the Day of the Dead when I was little and this movie was a great reminder of what a cool holiday it is.

The Greatest Showman was the best movie I've seen this year. It was pure magic - and such a feel good film. The glittering costumes and set, gorgeous songs, and fun dance scenes were right up my alley. I absolutely loved it. What surprised me most was that Mike said the same thing. He agreed it was one of the best movies he's seen in a long time. Also, who knew that Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron could dance like that?

Summer's coming so my movie watching may slow a bit but I am always in need of a good summer read for the pool, the patio, and a road trip. Feel free to offer any suggestions!

First trimester favorites

Friday, May 11, 2018
First trimester is in the rearview mirror, and I can't believe how it flew by! However, if you would've talked to me during the first trimester I probably would have told you it wasn't going by fast enough. I was in a constant state of nausea and it was about as fun as it sounds. I didn't know what to expect when I heard other moms-to-be talk about morning sickness, but now that I've experienced it firsthand, I'm really not a fan. The nausea was all day but really hit its highest point at the end of the day from 3 p.m. on.

The only thing that would keep it somewhat bearable was constantly eating. When I first found out I was expecting I had visions of myself consuming leafy greens and nutrient-packed smoothies. The reality looked more like Kraft mac & cheese, white carbs, and ice cream.

The second trimester has been good to me so far though. Many friends promised it would be a welcome reprieve after the first trimester, and they were right. I've had a few random aches and pains, and the occasional bout of nausea, but nothing to complain about.

Here were my first trimester staples -

Preggie Pop Drops

I can't say enough about these bad boys - they went everywhere with me during my first fourteen weeks. I had them in the car, in the house, in my purse, and in my pockets. They helped ease nausea so much! I tried the wristbands and Ginger drops and gum, but they didn't do much for me. The Ginger was almost too spicy for my stomach at that point. These sour fruity drops did the trick though - I probably went through four or five packs. I found them at Target and Amazon for the same price, otherwise they were kind of hard to track down. A first trimester lifesaver for sure!

Eating all the (bad) things

Like I mentioned earlier, if it was a cheap food you ate in college, I was probably eating it during my first trimester. Ramen noodles, ice cream, crackers, mac & cheese and really any white carb. Nothing ever tasted good but certain foods definitely sounded bad. Morning sickness is a weird thing. Also, I've never eaten so much in my life. I was constantly eating all day - it was the only thing that helped me feel not as sick. It would have been a lot more fun if stuff tasted good!


I really didn't have any food aversions except for hot coffee, which is really strange as I was a coffee devotee. I haven't worried about staying away from caffeine (I feel like it's yet another thing we're supposed to panic about) but I have tried to consume less of it.  I've been surprised by how much you can actually have and still stay under the recommended 200 mg or less a day.  Tea did sound good during my first trimester though, so I drank a lot of Constant Comment. I've graduated on to cold brew Cafe Lattes by Califia Farms but hot coffee still doesn't sound appetizing at all.


Surprisingly my running didn't slow down at all during my first trimester (okay, maybe the pace did!)  Running was really the only time I felt good. No headaches, no nausea, and plenty of time to relax and think. I could tell I was slower and had less energy but I still enjoyed my usual running routine. The second trimester has been great as well - definitely been feeling more energetic!

It is still surreal to think we're finally expecting after a year of failed attempts. It doesn't quite seem real yet, but hoping that once I start feeling little kicks or have a bump show up it will. Thanks to everyone who has shared advice, suggestions and congratulations! We welcome all the help we can get!

Happy Friday, friends!

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